NASA via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
NASA via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The Canadian Space Agency Is Hiring

NASA via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
NASA via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Attention, aspiring Canadian astronaut: your moment has arrived. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is now accepting applications for two astronaut positions who will start training at NASA's headquarters in August 2017, The Toronto Star reports.

"Our astronauts have been a source of national pride for our country,” Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development said in a press statement.

The agency’s application website says ideal candidates will have “… excellent health; a university education in science, engineering or medicine; and extensive knowledge and experience.” Other desirable traits include judgment, reasoning, teamwork, motivation, and resourcefulness.

And, of course, the new astronauts must also be super nice. Speaking to The Star, current astronaut-in-training Jeremy Hansen said that good manners are a must. “If you trap people in a tin can for six months—or two years going to Mars—how they treat one another, respecting some of our fundamental Canadian values, it’s really important.”

Applicants who make it through the first round will enter into an intensive year-long selection process that includes interviews, written tests, and physical trials. According to David Saint-Jacques, who joined the space program last month, none of these tasks are a walk in the park.

“Every test is an ultimate challenge of what you can give,” he said at a press conference. “And then once you’ve had enough, and you’re exhausted, then the test begins.”

Still want to apply? Head over to the CSA’s website for more information. The application period ends August 15.

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NASA, Getty Images
Watch Apollo 11 Launch
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11
Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11
NASA, Getty Images

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, on its way to the moon. In the video below, Mark Gray shows slow-motion footage of the launch (a Saturn V rocket) and explains in glorious detail what's going on from a technical perspective—the launch is very complex, and lots of stuff has to happen just right in order to get a safe launch. The video is mesmerizing, the narration is informative. Prepare to geek out about rockets! (Did you know the hold-down arms actually catch on fire after the rocket lifts off?)

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Spacecraft Films on Vimeo.

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iStock
Astronomers Discover 12 New Moons Around Jupiter
iStock
iStock

As the largest planet with the largest moon in our solar system, Jupiter is a body of record-setting proportions. The fifth planet from the Sun also boasts the most moons—and scientists just raised the count to 79.

A team of astronomers led by Scott S. Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute for Science confirmed the existence of 12 additional moons of Jupiter, 11 of which are “normal” outer moons, according to a statement from the institute. The outlier is being called an “oddball” for its bizarre orbit and diminutive size, which is about six-tenths of a mile in diameter.

The moons were first observed in the spring of 2017 while scientists looked for theoretical planet beyond Pluto, but several additional observations were needed to confirm that the celestial bodies were in fact orbiting around Jupiter. That process took a year.

“Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant solar system objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our solar system,” Sheppard said in a statement.

Nine of the "normal" moons take about two years to orbit Jupiter in retrograde, or counter to the direction in which Jupiter spins. Scientists believe these moons are what’s left of three larger parent bodies that splintered in collisions with asteroids, comets, or other objects. The two other "normal" moons orbit in the prograde (same direction as Jupiter) and take less than a year to travel around the planet. They’re also thought to be chunks of a once-larger moon.

The oddball, on the other hand, is “more distant and more inclined” than the prograde moons. Although it orbits in prograde, it crosses the orbits of the retrograde moons, which could lead to some head-on collisions. The mass is believed to be Jupiter’s smallest moon, and scientists have suggested naming it Valetudo after the Roman goddess of health and hygiene, who happens to be the great-granddaughter of the god Jupiter.

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